The effect of 200, 1000, and 5000 rads of mixed gamma-neutron radiations on total blood reducing sugar and blood glucose levels in guinea pigs was investigated 2 and 24 hours, and 9, 22, and 60 days postirradiation. In addition, the effectiveness of insulin and tolbutamide in these animals was evaluated before and after irradiation. Glucose increased to a lesser degree and later than did the nonglucose fraction of the blood sugar. Insulin and tolbutamide were at least as effective in irradiated animals as in unirradiated ones except after 5000 rads, when tolbutamide was significantly less effective. These results suggest that: (1) insufficient insulin is released by the pancreas in response to elevated blood sugar levels following irradiation; (2) the pancreas does produce insulin at these times and is able to release it in response to tolbutamide; and (3) a decrease in insulin production occurs following supralethal doses of radiation.

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